Thursday, May 15, 2014

Test Driven ::: Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee

All photos by {accordingtoame}

These colorful little jars of awesome have been getting the full workout now for a couple of months, and I am pretty much in L-O-V-E.  

I am not typically a gel or cream blush kinda girl, but I was looking for perhaps a lighter feeling option besides my beloved powdered cheek stains for Summer. Perhaps, something that would stain my cheeks and tolerate sweating, but still feel super light on my skin, and help me scale down the layers I trowel on every morning for the heat and humidity we're already experiencing. Ok were experiencing. It's barely 50 degrees today...

I watched the presentations on QVC a few times, and decided to make a trip over to Sephora to see what I thought color-wise and formula-wise before I ended up ordering from QVC, who has a two-shade set for little more than you'd pay for just one anywhere else. Both shades in the set were my among my favorites in the collection, so I knew I was going to be very happy with this duo.  

Pricing::: One full sized jar at Sephora or on Josie's site is $22, but QVC has the set linked above of two full sized jars for just over $29. Sephora just launched two shades in "minis" that are half the size for $13, for those that want to try it in a tinier jar. The size of this jar isn't huge, but isn't ridiculously small either, so I'd be curious just how small that mini is--probably about the size of a small gel eyeliner jar.  Either way, the cost per use on this is going to be incredible. 

Packaging::: This product comes in really nice, hefty glass jars. Small enough to not take up too much space in your travel case or purse. Obviously the mini will take up less space, if you want one for just travel or your purse, or just as a tryout.  The lid is securely closed without having to really twist hard.  The box it's inside at purchase lists the ingredients clearly, as well as the fact that it's natural and cruelty free. 

Colors:::  Watercolor is the perfect word for these. They're ridiculously bright in the jar, but on the skin, they're super sheer, yet still there.  Of the two, I find myself using the Poppy Paradise the most because I just love the peachier tone on me, but it's a little sheerer than the Rose Vacay.  

While I love the Poppy more, the Rose requires less "building" on my skin for me to feel like I am "done." It's much more vibrant and potent in the pigment department.  But most days, I have also found myself putting on a layer of each and going with that perfect blend.   I like the Rose on my lips because it punches my lip tone up a little more and in a great way.   It doesn't last all day on my lips because, yknow, eating, but while it's on there, it looks awesome.

Formula::: Obviously it's a gel formula, but it's not what you'd expect a typical gel blush to be. Most are obviously actual gel in a tube you squeeze. This is a more solid formula, in a jar, and is far less potent in a good way.  I used to love my mom's Bonne Bell gel blush tubes, I'd use the hell out of it and sometimes buy my own tubes to use the hell out of.  But if I went too far, or didn't blend fast enough, it was super obvious and I looked insane. This stuff is a more elegant version of that, with a better skin finish, and I find it just as long wearing.  

In the QVC presentation, Josie mentions the cooling sensation from the coconut water. I thought that was a bunch of hooey when I saw the presentation, but it's so not!  I noticed it immediately with the testers at Sephora, and when I tried it on my face I loved it. I wish it lasted all day actually, because it would be a nice sensation if you're sweaty and the breeze hits your skin. It would be built-in face a/c. 

Usage and Application:::  Most days, I apply with just my fingers after concealer, and before powdering.  I've also done so with my BeautyBlender sponge a few times as well and blended with a mix of the sponge and my fingers. The application with fingers is sheerer, since the sponge picks up more product.  I tend to save the sponge application for days when I need to really kick it up, or in a way "overdo it" because I will be wearing more concealer and foundation than normal and I usually apply the blush first on those days, and want it to still show through well.  

A little of either shade will go a long way and as a result, these jars will last forever.  At first it seems like you don't have enough on but then you glance away and then realize "oh shit, I look sunburned."  I've had fun playing with these to figure out how I love it the most, and that's usually with a light layer of Rose first, and then a light layer of the Poppy over top. Sometimes two if I am really going for it.  

In these photos, I "went for it" so you could see the color better. They're much more different in color in the jar than on my face, though.

Poppy Paradise on the left side of the photo/my face

Again, Poppy. I just kept this one in because for some reason 
my hair is doing something magnificent on the right side 
of the photo and I look like a Breck girl or something. 
My skin looks abnormally great. And my teeth look way whiter for some reason. 
Dammit, Blogger. 

Vacay Rose on the right side of the pic/my face. 

Poppy on the left, Vacay Rose on the right
Yes I did go all day with two different blush shades on. 
No one noticed. Or if they did, said nothing to me.

Wear/Longevity:::  I had concerns when I first tried these that they would "dry down" or that they were going to be a little dewy on the skin all day, and generally not work with setting powder.  I was pleased that they do dry down well, without being drying to the skin in the same way a lot of old-school gel and cream blushes are. No tightness at all, just soft skin with a hint of tint.  The coconut water evaporates on contact, essentially, giving you that cool burst, and its moisturizing properties are left behind on the skin. The pigment stains your skin in a way that lasts all day, but that your cleanser will still take off at the end of the day. 

Other than on weekends when I sometimes skip blush and do the barest minimum anyway, I'd apply around 6am, and they'd still look just as fresh at 5pm when I usually arrive home as they did when I applied them. They're designed to last all day, and I'd say the promise is kept on that. 

Here's an average weekend day, where I did use the Poppy Paradise in a "reasonable quantity" and a little on my lips, too.

 Blogger, I love that you screw with my photos 
in a way that makes my skin look almost ageless. 

Bottom Line:::  I am loving this stuff. I use and love a ton of products by Josie Maran and this did not let me down.  The colors are fantastic, and the formula is absolutely amazing.  I really wanted to try the tinted Infinity cream but it's got that devil ingredient in it, so that's a pass.  

Buying this as a duo is a great deal, but if you only want to try one of the two shades, or just try it out first before you buy a full jar, Poppy is available in the mini size and that might be a great way to try it out first before you go for it. Since I played with it first, I knew I would be happy with the duo.   I am half tempted to order a set for my mom, because she used to love that Bonne Bell gel blush, and I think she'd love this, too.

Have you tried the Josie Maran Cheek Gelee? What did you think of it?  I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments!

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